UN agency says without new donations, 1 million Angolans may face malnutrition

UN agency says without new donations, 1 million Angolans may face malnutrition

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that unless donations are pledged to Angola relief efforts within the next four weeks, food supplies will start to run out, threatening at least 1 million Angolans with malnutrition.

"It is a sheer battle every month to secure enough food to prevent people from going hungry," said Ronald Sibanda, WFP Country Director for Angola. "Looming ahead is a massive hole in our supply line which will hit hard in January next year."

Insecurity in many parts of Angola has forced thousands of people to flee their homes, or to remain in temporary shelters where they can't feed themselves because of limited access to arable land, WFP said. At the same time, fighting in the country's interior has severely limited the agency's access to areas outside the provincial capitals, where nutrition levels have reportedly declined.

Mr. Sibanda warned that without rapid donations, hunger would become rife. "Overall, contributions to Angola have decreased," he said, noting that donors who traditionally supported the country have so far contributed comparatively less than last year.

The agency feeds about 40 per cent of the estimated 2.6 million internally displaced people in the war-ravaged country. WFP is also working to promote self-reliance through agriculture and food-for-work schemes in most provincial capitals.

"WFP is caught between having to act as fire fighters, dealing with the emergency of the day, while at the same time trying to help hundreds of thousands of war victims achieve some level of autonomy," said Mr. Sibanda. "Without peace, this is proving a very difficult task."